QROPS, Tax Tips

QROPS Qatar Pension Transfer for British Expats to Avoid Paying Taxes


QROPS Qatar. Pension Tax Relief

British expats living in Qatar or wishing to retire in Qatar can now transfer their pension into a QROPS Qatar to maximize pension tax relief. British expats living or working in Qatar can take advantage of their offshore status and transfer their UK pension offshore to somewhere secure like the Isle of Man, New Zealand or a QROPS in Malta and will no longer have to pay UK taxes on their pension if they stay offshore. A QROPS Qatar avoids UK taxes on your pension. There is no personal income tax for expats in Qatar.

Any Qataris who have worked in the UK or worked for a British company and built up a substantial pension can also move their pension offshore to avoid UK taxes on their pension.

qrops qatar
Qatar QROPS Pension Transfer for UK Expats

Qatar has the world’s largest per capita production and proven reserves of both oil and natural gas. In 2010, Qatar had the world’s highest GDP per capita, while the economy grew by 19.40%, the fastest in the world. The main drivers for this rapid growth are attributed to ongoing increases in production and exports of liquefied natural gas, oil, petrochemicals and related industries. Qatar has the second-highest human development in the Arab World after the United Arab Emirates.

In 2009, Qatar was the United States’ 5th largest export market in the Middle East, trailing behind the U.A.E., Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. With a small citizen population of less than 300,000 people, Qatar relies heavily on foreign citizens, both for its protection and generating labour demand. Qatar has attracted an estimated $100 billion in investment, with approximately $60–70 billion coming from the U.S in the energy sector. It is estimated that Qatar will invest over $120 billion in the energy sector in the next ten years .

Why live or retire in Qatar as a British expat?

Over 8,000 Brits live and work in Qatar. Jobs in engineering, oil and gas as well as teaching provide employment for Brits in Qatar. A QROPS Qatar can help you avoid taxes in the UK and have your pension paid gross.

Much of the country consists of a low, barren plain, covered with sand. To the southeast lies the spectacular Khor al Adaid (“Inland Sea”), an area of rolling sand dunes surrounding an inlet of the Persian Gulf. There are mild winters and very hot, humid summers.

The government uses Sunni law as the basis of its criminal and civil regulations. Some religious tolerance is granted. Foreign nationals are free to affiliate with their faiths other than Islam, i.e. Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Bahái, as long as they are religious in private and do not offend ‘public order’ or ‘morality’. In March 2008 a Roman Catholic church of “Our Lady of the Rosary” was consecrated in Doha. No missionaries were allowed in the community. The church will have no bells, crosses or other Christian symbols on it and its premises.

Alcohol consumption is legal in Qatar, with many restrictions. Luxurious hotels and nightclubs are allowed to sell alcohol to its adult non-Muslim customers. Personal consumption or possession of alcohol outside of these premises is illegal, except in a private residence where the non-Muslim adult has obtained a permit through the Qatar Distribution Company. Having alcoholic beverages in public is illegal. Eating or drinking in public during daylight hours in the month of Ramadan in Qatar is prohibited. Football is the most popular sport and Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

If you are offshore at the moment, you can take advantage of your offshore address to move your pension to a QROPS Qatar. It doesn’t matter if you continue to work there or not, you will get the benefits as long as you retire outside the UK.

The Benefits of a UK Pension Transfer to a QROPS Qatar

What are the benefits of a QROPS Qatar Pension Transfer for British expats?

• Avoid UK income tax
• Avoid UK dividends tax
• Avoid UK capital gains tax (CGT)
• Avoid UK inheritance tax (IHT)

• Currency choice. You can choose to have your pension transferred to a QROPS denominated in USD, EUR or keep it in GBP

• Have the ability to make higher returns with freedom of investment

Family Protection: Upon death, the entire pension pot gets passed on to your nearest and dearest

Security: The pension is held in a secure jurisdiction such as NZ, Malta or the Isle of Man which is under the protection of the British Crown, but has its own strong financial regulations which are tax efficient

What is a QROPS Qatar?

A Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS Qatar) allows your UK pension to be transferred offshore to reduce your tax burden. Effectively, you will no longer pay UK tax on your pension whilst you are offshore and after 10 years of living offshore, the reporting requirements to HMRC cease.

If you are living in Qatar at the moment, you can take advantage of your offshore address in order to move your UK pension into a QROPS Qatar to avoid further UK taxes down the line. A QROPS Qatar is an appropriate tax planning vehicle to avoid UK taxes if you are considering living or retiring abroad.

What is the economy like in Qatar?

Qatar has experienced rapid economic growth over the last several years due to high oil prices, and in 2008 posted its eighth consecutive budget surplus. Economic policy is focused on developing Qatar’s non-associated natural gas reserves and increasing private and foreign investment in non-energy sectors, but oil and gas still account for more than 50% of GDP; roughly 85% of export earnings, and 70% of government revenues.

Oil and gas have made Qatar one of the highest per-capita income countries, and one of the world’s fastest growing. Proved oil reserves of 15 billion barrels should enable continued output at current levels for 37 years. Qatar’s proved reserves of natural gas are nearly 26 trillion cubic metres, about 14% of the world total and the third largest in the world.

Before the discovery of oil, the economy of the Qatari region focused on fishing and pearl hunting. After the introduction of the Japanese cultured pearl onto the world market in the 1920s and 1930s, Qatar’s pearling industry crashed. However, the discovery of oil, beginning in the 1940s, completely transformed the state’s economy. Now, the country has a high standard of living, with many social services offered to its citizens and all the amenities of any modern state. It relies heavily on foreign labour to grow its economy, to the extent that 94% of its labour is carried out by foreigners. Labour laws offer little protection for the foreign labourers mostly coming from developing countries.

The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) provides financial institutions with world-class services in investment, margin and no-interest loans, and capital support. These platforms are situated in an economy founded on the development of its hydrocarbons resources, specifically its exportation of petroleum. It has been created with a long term perspective to support the development of Qatar and the wider region, develop local and regional markets, and strengthen the links between the energy based economies and global financial markets.

The new town of Lusail, the largest project ever in Qatar, is under construction.

A QROPS Qatar is often the best tax efficient vehicle to maximimize your pension pot whilst you are offshore. Not only do you get the tax benefits, but the freedom of investment means that you have the chance of making a much higher interest rate than a typical UK pension which is often only lnked to inflation (the CPI has historically averaged only 2.0% per year in the UK).

What is the Tax on a QROPS Qatar

There is no personal income tax in Qatar and a QROPS gets you out of the UK tax net, so the only tax you might pay depends on where your QROPS is stationed. Let’s have a look at the comparisons of different QROPS jurisdictions for a QROPS Qatar.

QROPS New Zealand for British Expats in Qatar

  • Avoids All Taxation
  • Currency choice of GBP, EUR or USD
  • 30% lump sum at 55 available
  • 100% of any increase in pension pot after transfer available as a further lump sum
  • 5 investment strategies available dependent on your risk profile

QROPS Malta for British Expats in Qatar

  • Avoids all taxation due to Double Taxation Agreement between Malta and Qatar
  • Income tax would be shared between Malta and Singapore
  • Currency choice of GBP, EUR or USD
  • 30% lump sum at 55 available
  • Programmed withdrawals allowed: 50% of any increase in your pension pot after transfer is available as lump sum withdrawals.
  • Much wider investment range allowed including shares, mutual funds, ETF’s, bond fund, hedge funds, high interest bank notes, etc.

QROPS Isle of Man for British Expats in Qatar

  • Avoids all taxation except a 7.5% tax upon death in the Isle of Man once taking retirement benefits
  • Currency choice of GBP, EUR or USD
  • 30% lump sum at 55 available
  • Actuarial drawdown allowed. This means that pension income could be up to 50% higher than GAD rates.
  • Much wider investment range allowed including shares, mutual funds, ETF’s, bond fund, hedge funds, high interest bank notes, etc.

QROPS Qatar Providers

Do I need to move my pension to Qatar?
Qatar decided not to go ahead with their planned QROPS. So, there are no QROPS providers in Qatar, but you still have the option to transfer to the Isle of Man, Malta or New Zealand to avoid taxes in the UK and Qatar.

Isle of Man QROPS may be the better choice of ill health is an issue or client wants maximum income from the QROPS.
NZ QROPS may be the better choice for clients near retirement age with large QROPS who wish to take the extra lumps um after transfer of whatever the pension pot increase by.
Malta QROPS also offers programmed withdrawals and wide range of investments are allowed, so may be better for a client under 55.

Do I need to live and retire in Qatar?
No, you can live anywhere offshore. As long as you are outside the UK, your QROPS will grow free of UK tax. If you ever return to live permanently in the UK, your pension reverts to UK Self Invested Pension Plan (SIPP) rules. The tax on your pension income would depend on where you draw your income in retirement.

For enquiries, please send email to info@qropsspecialists.com

QROPS Qatar article written by QROPS Specialists.

QROPS Qatar Pension Transfer for British Expats to Avoid Paying Taxes by

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